First Drive

Mahindra KUV100 review, test drive

The radical-looking KUV100 promises to stand out from the crowd. But just how good is to drive?

DETAILS
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photos
Should I buy one?
 
The styling will surely split opinion amongst potential owners but if you can digest the oddball proportions and styling, the KUV100 actually offers plenty. It’s got road presence which sets it apart in an ocean of conventional hatchbacks, as well as a well turned-out and spacious cabin with plenty of equipment on board. Commendably, safety has been given due importance too except for the sixth seat. The KUV’s engines, though unexciting, are also up to the job with decent everyday performance and more importantly promise to deliver on fuel economy. It’s an easy car to drive as well and this only helps the small Mahindra’s case.
 
The KUV doesn’t have any of the go-anywhere characteristics that you’d expect in an SUV and even its 170mm ground clearance is just par for the course, but remember this is an SUV only in marketing speak. 
 
In true Mahindra tradition, pricing is keen with the base petrol K2 starting at Rs 4.42 lakh (ex-showroom, Pune) and the Rs 6.76 lakh diesel K8 topping off the range. These prices put the KUV in the heart of the hatchback segment where competition is the most intense. But its unique positioning as a hatchback-turned-SUV or vice versa could make the KUV100 the disruptive cat amongst the pigeons. 
 

Fact File

Engine

Fuel Petrol / Diesel
Installation Front, transverse
Type 1198cc MPFI with Dual VVT / 1198cc turbocharged, intercooled, common rail direct injection
Power 81.8bhp at 5500rpm / 76.4bhp at 3750rpm
Torque 11.7kgm at 3500-3600rpm / 19.37kgm at 1750-2250rpm

Transmission

Type Front-wheel drive
Gearbox Five speed manual

Dimensions

Length 3675mm
Width 1715mm
Height 1655mm
Wheel base 2385mm
Boot volume 243-litres
Ground clearance 170mm

Chassis & Body

Construction Five door hatchback, monocoque
Wheels 14-inch alloy
Tyres 185/65R14

Suspension

Front Independent, Mcpherson Strut, coil spring
Rear Semi-independent, twist-beam with coil spring

Brakes

Front Disc
Rear Drum

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Autocar Magazine

Issue: 215 | Autocar India: July 2017

We’ve exclusively driven the third-gen Maruti Swift, compared the Dzire with all its compact sedan rivals, and tested the all-new Volvo XC60. That and lots more in the July 2017 issue!
Autocar Magazine
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